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Blood clots? Do I need to worry?

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The short answer is you do need to keep an eye out for blood clots. And, if you suspect you have a blood clot, you need to see your GP or specialist to take a look and give advice on how to manage it. 

Serious blood clots, also called DVT or deep vein thrombosis, occur in the deep veins of the leg and pelvis. These are large veins which transport the majority of blood back to the heart.

The short answer is you do need to keep an eye out for them. And, if you suspect you have a blood clot, you need to see your GP or specialist to take a look and give advice on how to manage it. 

A blood clot is a collection of blood in the leg veins that has changed from liquid to solid. It’s the body’s response to repair, which is why there’s a higher risk of blood clots after surgery. They may dissolve by themselves, but often they don’t. Blood thinners are usually needed for treatment and to prevent the blood clot getting bigger and travelling to your lungs.

How do you know you have one?

Blood clots most commonly form in the legs where you might feel pain or cramping. It could feel like you’ve pulled a muscle when you know there’s no reason for this. You might notice the area is warm, swollen or a bit red. In yourself, you will feel normal.

Compression socks or stockings can help alleviate the symptoms and keep the blood flowing. Wearing them is highly recommended by vascular specialists.

To help prevent clots always take breaks to move around when travelling long distances. Wear compression socks when travelling, stay well-hydrated, maintain a healthy weight, give up smoking if you do and exercise regularly. After surgery keep your stockings on for the recommended time and take the medication recommended.